Translated by Sandy Lau
5 Things To Do In Shibuya - A Day In Tokyo's Trendy Capital
Written by Mami Wakamatsu
Shibuya is Tokyo’s center for trends and is always active with locals and tourists. This is a district you can hang out in all day in with shopping areas and trendy food and drink establishments. We suggest spots and travel plans for a fun day.
Shibuya - Tokyo's Melting Pot of Trends and Culture
Shibuya is one of the trendiest areas in Tokyo. It is an exciting district filled with shopping, trendy restaurants, cultural facilities, and clubs, bringing together all sorts of cultures.
Spots such as the Scramble Crosswalk, overflowing with large numbers of pedestrians, Shibuya Center-Gai, a popular area for young people, and the Hachiko statue, used frequently as a meeting spot in the area, are well-known internationally.
In this article, we’ve collected together places and things for you to do when you come to Shibuya, including shopping spots, sightseeing courses, and restaurants you'll want to visit.
1. Have Breakfast at a Café
One pleasure while traveling is enjoying breakfast. Most people tend to be repetitive with their morning meal when staying for several days at their accommodation. Therefore, we’ve picked out restaurants with a variety of breakfast menus in Shibuya.
The Rice Ball Plate at Tokyo Kenkyo
Picture courtesy of Tokyo Kenkyo
Tokyo Kenkyo is a café offering a variety of sandwiches. Their menu has a wide selection of items, from generously-sized dishes to salad sets.
They also have a complete breakfast menu. You can choose your favorite out of five sets, including a toast set, fruit and yogurt set, and a rice ball set that comes with dashimaki tamago (*1), sozai (*2), oshinko (*3), miso soup, and onigiri. Breakfast is served in the mornings from 8:00 to 11:00.
*1 Dashimaki Tamago: a dish consisting of dashi stock mixed together with scrambled eggs that is then fried.
*2 Sozai: side dishes eaten together with staple foods.
*3 Oshinko: a type of tsukemono (pickled vegetable).
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Nanpeidaicho 7-9 Google Map
Access: 10 minute walk from the west exit of Shibuya Station
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/tokyokenkyo/timeline (Japanese)
Scones at Ningen Kankei (café de copain)
Picture courtesy of Kumagai Corporation
Opened in 1979, this is a café in the style of an English pub. They are especially famous for their scones and have ten homemade varieties, including plain, chocolate, matcha green tea, and pumpkin.
We’re happy to note that these scones cost a reasonable 120 yen per scone. A classic breakfast of scones and coffee sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? The café opens at 9:00.
Ningen Kankei (café de copain)
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho 16-12 Google Map
Access: 5 minute walk from Shibuya Station (JR, Eidan, and Tokyu Lines)
Official Website: http://www.kumagaicorp.jp/ (Japanese)
2. Dive into Trendy Fashion
Shibuya is also an area where you can entertain yourself with plenty of shopping. There countless stores, but the shopping spots below are particularly well-known.
This facility has a collection of apparel shops oriented towards women in their teens to their early 20s. It was once a shopping spot where everyone, especially young women in "gyaru-style” fashion (characterized by dyed brown hair, heavy makeup, and high heels) frequented.
Presently, SHIBUYA 109 still carries a large selection of items marketed to young women. Many of the products that can be purchased here range from about 3000 yen to under 10,000 yen.
Marui is a commercial facility with a large collection of fashion items popular with women in their 20s and 30s. Most clothing brands here carry simple and modest goods rather than casual merchandise.
Many products at the facility range from several thousand yen to over 10,000 yen. You’ll also find cosmetics, undergarments from the brand Wacoal (Japanese), and kimono stores. There are also restaurants inside Marui.
Shibuya Hikarie is large and extends from the third floor basement to the eleventh floor. The fashion items here are mostly career-oriented and casual brands. The stores attract customers of all ages.
It is also typical for prices here to range from several thousand yen to over 10,000 yen. There are also many different types of stores located in the building, including those with general goods, cosmetics, and sweets for sale.
The facility is also a convenient place for lunch, as there are many cafés and restaurants inside the building. Another feature is its accessibility and convenience, being attached to Shibuya Station.
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Shibuya 2-21-1 Google Map
Access: Directly attached to Exit 15 at Shibuya Station (Tokyu Toyoko Line, Den’entoshi Line, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, Fukutoshin Line). Directly accessible from the connecting passageway between Shibuya Station (JR Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, and Keio Inokashira Line) and the building’s second floor.
Official Website: http://www.hikarie.jp/ (Japanese)
3. Find Goods and Stationery Perfect for Souvenirs
There are several places in Shibuya that are great for finding souvenirs.
Tokyu Hands sells stationery, household goods, cosmetics, and interior supplies. The store has a collection of various items from traditional Japanese goods to everyday items and handicraft materials.
The Shibuya branch of Tokyu Hands extends from the second floor basement to the seventh floor. There are also areas with railway models and plastic model figures. This store is great for finding unique items that can't be found anywhere else.
Tokyu Hands Shibuya
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho 12-18 Google Map
Access: 10 minute walk from Hachiko Ticket Gate at JR Shibuya Station
Official Website: https://www.tokyu-hands.co.jp/en/list/shibuya/
Similar to Tokyu Hands, Loft is a store selling stationery, household goods, cosmetics, and interior supplies. It is a large store that extends from the first floor basement to the sixth floor.
The store is lined with well-designed items such as cute stationery and stylish household goods, based on the concept of offering goods to improve their customers' quality of living.
Village Vanguard is a general goods store created around the theme of a being a fun bookstore. With a strong subculture vibe, the store is lined with various wares, including slightly unusual but interesting items, books, photobooks, CDs, cute snacks, and character goods, not sticking to any particular genre.
This is a store we recommend to people wanting to find unusual items in Japan.
4. Walk Through Town to Your Next Destination
We also recommend walking to your nearest destination from Shibuya. The environment becomes more peaceful as you distance yourself from the main station area.
Head To Yoyogi Park Through Oku-Shibuya
Oku-Shibuya is located along the way from Shibuya to Yoyogi Park. This includes the neighborhoods of Kamiyamacho, Udagawacho, and Tomigaya, extending around the area of the Japanese public broadcasting station NHK. It is located past Tokyu Hands after leaving Shibuya Center-Gai. The area up until Center-Gai will be crowded with people, but the Oku-Shibuya area boasts a quiet atmosphere.
There are general stores and restaurants with stylish and refined taste in this area, so Oku-Shibuya may be slightly more oriented towards adults.
For example, in SHIBUYA PUBLISHING & BOOKSELLERS, a book and general goods store, the shelves are lined with handmade accessories, and stationery. Archivando, a store that carries domestic and international household tools, is where you will encounter high quality products that are simple yet expertly designed.
In addition to these stores, there are also several trendy cafés in this area, so definitely come by and find one suitable to your tastes.
SHIBUYA PUBLISHING & BOOKSELLERS Main Store
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Kamiyamacho 17-3 Terrace Kamiyama 1F Google Map
Access: 15 minute walk from the Hachiko Exit at Shibuya Station (JR Line)
Official Website: https://www.shibuyabooks.co.jp/ (Japanese)
Enjoy Cat Street and Head for Harajuku
Cat Street is a promenade that runs parallel to Meiji Street, connecting Shibuya to Harajuku. This street, continuously extending over a distance of approximately one kilometer, overflows with energy. It is also known as a sacred area for street fashion.
The final spot in Shibuya is Omotesando Street. This is where you'll come across KIDDY LAND and Omotesando Hills. There are also many small but popular stores here. Visitors with an eye for fashion are sure to especially enjoy this area. The street is about a 20 minute walk on a typical stroll.
Visit Shrines and Stroll to Ebisu
It is also pleasant to visit Shinto shrines and walk to neighboring Ebisu Station. Konno Hachimangu Shrine and Toyosaka Inari Shrine are two shrines that you will see when you walk for several minutes from the east exit at Shibuya Station.
Konno Hachimangu Shrine is a historical shrine built in 1092. Both the main building and gates were erected in 1612, making them extremely old and valuable. When you visit, make sure to pay attention to the details of the shrine.
Toyosaka Inari Shrine is located near Konno Hachimangu Shrine. It enshrines a god well-known as Inari in Japan, with beautiful torii gates ideal for taking commemorative photos.
Walk for about ten minutes from Konno Hachimangu Shrine and Toyosaka Inari Shrine and you’ll arrive at Shibuya Hikawa Shrine. This shrine, known for giving blessings for love and relationships, is said to be the oldest shrine in Shibuya. It is a calming space where you can catch your breath away from the hustle and bustle of Shibuya.
The distance from Shibuya Hikawa Shrine to Ebisu Station is a little under ten minutes. The Yamatane Museum of Art, where exhibitions on Japanese paintings are held, is located a few minutes away, so it might be a great idea to stop by there as well.
Konno Hachimangu Shrine
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Shibuya 3-5-12 Google Map
Access: 5 minute walk from the east exit at JR Shibuya Station
Official Website: http://www.geocities.jp/ynycr674/ (Japanese)
Toyosaka Inari Shrine
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Shibuya 3-4-7 Google Map
Access: 5 minute walk from the east exit at JR Shibuya Station
Shibuya Hikawa Shrine
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Higashi 2-5-6 Google Map
Access: 15 minute walk from the east exit at JR Shibuya Station
5. Fully Enjoy The Night Life At Bars And Clubs
Being able to have plenty of fun into the night is another charm of Shibuya. We’ll introduce our recommend spots, such as food and drink establishments inspired by classic Japanese backstreets, as well as bars and clubs.
Eat All the Meat You Want! Shibuya Niku Yokocho
Inside Shibuya Tamariba Enya
Shibuya Niku Yokocho (*4) is called the theme park of meat. There are sixteen stores with meat menus, including meat sushi, yakiniku, gyutan (beef tongue), and yakitori (skewered meats) gathered in one place. We also recommend trying and visiting the different stores here.
Shibuya has a street called Nonbei Yokocho (Japanese) where small and casual bars and drinking establishments are gathered, frequented by local customers. In comparison, Shibuya Niku Yokocho is easy for many customers to enter because of the variety of stores housed together in a multi-story building.
* Yokocho: a side street (alley) intersecting and leading away from the main street. It signifies an area the width of a road and lined with stores.
Shibuya Niku Yokocho
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya Udagawacho 13-8 Chitose Hall Google Map
Access: 7 minute walk from the Hachiko Exit at Shibuya Station (JR Line)
Official Website: http://shibuyayokocho.com/ (Japanese)
Hachigatsu no Kujira – A Bar For Movie-Lovers
Hachigatsu no Kujira, or Whales of August, is where you can drink cocktails inspired by films and movies. The menu has a selection of titles from different generations and countries, including well-known movies such as “Roman Holiday” and “Life Is Beautiful” to “The Godfather”, “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” and “My Sassy Girl.”
Not only do they include famous works, but there are also a variety of genres, from action to Disney films, to Studio Ghibli works. Visitors who enjoy film will get excited just by looking at the menu.
Hachigatsu no Kujira will also make cocktails based on titles not on the menu.
Hachigatsu no Kujira
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho 28-12 Shibuyamon Building B1F Google Map
Access: 10 minute walk from the Hachiko Exit at Shibuya Station (JR Line)
Turn Up the Excitement at Clubs!
Shibuya is also a highly competitive club district in Tokyo. There are no end to the popular clubs here. However, clubs such as WOMB, which won second place in the world club ranking in the UK music magazine “MIX MAG” in 2005, club asia (Japanese) in Maruyamacho that exudes a pan-Asian atmosphere, and ATOM TOKYO, where you can listen to different types of music on three floors, are particularly popular.
You’ll find the weekends bustling with people.
Transportation in Shibuya
Shibuya Station serves nine lines. The lines that international tourists are most likely to use are the JR Yamanote Line, which laps around Tokyo, or the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line that connects Asakusa to Shibuya.
Be sure to choose a travel method that suits your travel plans.
For more details on transferring and transportation in Shibuya Station, be sure to read the articles linked below.
Shibuya - A City Full of Activity
Shibuya is a melting pot overflowing with different cultures and trends. We are sure you can enjoy a day here, filled with shopping, food, and nightlife.